This Sunday is Mother’s Day and mothers will be treated extra special! I can say that nothing pleases me more than when someone does the cooking for me on Mother’s Day! When my children were little, I often got “Breakfast in Bed” for Mother’s Day. This was always special but I loved when my only daughter, the youngest, got involved and insisted that she make a menu with choices rather than the usual the boys prepared… cereal or toast! That’s my girl… she knew it needed to be something special, not the usual everyday fair! (I really was just happy… that my 3 boys LEFT ME some cereal and milk and I didn’t have to clean up after them!)
This is a Classic Sticky Bun Recipe with some Italian Flavors that even my 15-year-old daughter can make, it is so simple… Sweet Marsala, figs, orange zest, walnuts and honey add a little-unexpected flavor combination. Add it to a Mother’s Day Brunch or simply make mom a batch in a new beautiful stone baker that she can keep! (you could make her a small batch of 6 and keep 6 for yourself of course!)
Enjoy your time with Mom or whoever your family matriarch is this weekend and remember it is the simple things that give us joy and home baking is one of these simple things!
To all the Moms, Happy Mother’s Day!
Ciao for now, Natalina
p.s if there is no time to bake this weekend, you could always visit one of our Cookbook retailers and pick up a copy of our first cookbook… Natalinas Kitchen: Bringing Homemade Back! Details here,
In Italy, breakfast usually consists of a brioche or croissant and espresso or cappuccino... here in North America, a decadent sweet might be reserved for a special occasion like brunch! This is a classic sticky bun recipe that is very easy and I have added a few Italian flavors for a little Italian inspiration! Enjoy!
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
- 1 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tbsp. instant yeast
- 7 oz. luke warm water ,approximately, 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp.
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tbsp. grated orange zest
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- pinch nutmeg
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped , dried figs
- 2 tbsp sweet marsala wine or sherry (toss the figs with the Marsala about 20 minutes before using)
- 1 tsp grated orange zest
- 4 tbsp butter, melted
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Place the first 8 ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook or large food processor. Process until everything is incorporated and the bowl is clean. It will be a moist, sticky dough. If it is too wet, add a little bit more flour until it comes away from the bowl. (humidity will affect this) Let the machine "knead" the dough for 3 minutes. Pour the contents on a floured counter and knead into a smooth, ball. Transfer to a large bowl, twice the size, and cover with plastic wrap.
Place the bowl in a draft-free place for 2 hours or until more than doubled in size.
The dough could be left in the fridge at this point for a couple of days if making ahead.
Punch down the dough. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to a rectangle that is about 18 inches long by 12 inches deep (46 cm x 30 cm) with the longest side closest to you for rolling.
For the filling:
Mix the nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar in a small bowl. Brush the melted butter on the dough and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly on top leaving an edge uncovered on the 2 long sides.
Starting with the long edge in front of you, start rolling the dough away from you, not too tightly. Finish with the seam side down. Cut into 3 equal pieces with a sharp knife. Cut each piece into 4 equal pieces for 12 equal slices in total. Set aside for a moment.
For the topping:
Butter a rectangular baking pan large enough to fit the buns plus room for rising. Mix the melted butter, honey, zest, walnuts pieces, brown sugar and the figs and Marsala in a medium-sized bowl. Mix until all incorporated. Pour and evenly distribute in the prepared pan.
Starting in the middle, place the buns in the pan, slightly touching one another, trying to cover all the topping. Cover with plastic wrap loosely. Place in a draft-free place for an hour or until doubles in size. During the last 20 minutes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. or 180 degrees C.
Bake in the oven until golden brown, about 30 or more minutes. Put a knife in the center and make sure the dough is cooked and not raw still.
Remove the pan from the oven and turn over on a cooling rack with a piece of parchment paper underneath to catch the topping. Cool slightly before serving.